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How to Tackle Shanghai as a First Timer

How to Tackle Shanghai as a First Timer

Shanghai is one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in China, so there’s plenty to see and do. But, while exciting, the city also can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. See below for a list of must-dos and must-sees for your first visit to Shanghai.

 

See the City Highlights

Start with a guided tour to see the city’s main attractions in a short period of time, all with the benefit of insightful commentary. Choose a hop-on hop-off bus tour, a coach tour, bike tour, or walking tour to visit must-see sites such as the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, the Jade Buddha Temple, and Xin Tian Di in the former French Concession.

 

Visit the Bund

Shanghai’s iconic waterfront strip is a must-see destination. Stroll along the promenade to enjoy views of the heritage landmark buildings and the futuristic skyscrapers across the river. Visit in the early morning to see locals practicing tai chi, then come back at night for glittering views and lively nightlife. You’ll find options for everything from fine dining to classic jazz to swanky rooftop bars.

 

Cruise the Huangpu River

The Huangpu River cuts through Shanghai, separating Pudong from Puxi. Set sail on a sightseeing cruise and enjoy a different perspective of both the Bund and the skyscrapers of Pudong. Cruises last from 30 minutes to more than three hours, and can include lunch, dinner, and live entertainment.

 

Visit a Skyscraper in Pudong

Lujiazui in Pudong is home to the tallest and some of the most iconic buildings in Shanghai, including Shanghai Tower, the World Financial Center, Jin Mao Tower, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. Visit one or more of these skyscrapers and take in panoramic views from their observation decks.

 

Sample the Local Cuisine

No visit to Shanghai would be complete without trying the cuisine. Must-try local dishes include soup dumplings (xiao long bao), fried dumplings (sheng jiang bao), different types of noodles, and fresh seafood. Explore restaurants, markets, and food stalls on your own, or go off the beaten path on a guided food tour.

 

Explore a Water Town

A popular day trip out of Shanghai is to visit one of the ancient water towns nearby, such as Zhujuajiao, Tongli, and Nanxun. These charming, historic towns are built around a complex and picturesque network of canals and waterways, offering a contrast to the urban sprawl of Shanghai.

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22 Tours and Activities | All Shanghai Tours

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Zhujiajiao Water Town and Shanghai City Private Day Tour

Zhujiajiao Water Town and Shanghai City Private Day Tour

star-5
Save time without compromising on experience on this door-to-door private guided tour that covers Zhujiajiao Ancient Town and key Shanghai highlights. First, explore the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao by boat and foot, and savor a local lunch. Then, spend the afternoon discovering Shanghai: the 16th-century Yu Garden, the Bund, and the Shanghai Tower. Upgrade to include a Shanghai dinner.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$208.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$208.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Shanghai Bus Tour Hop-on Hop-off Premium Ticket including City Top Attraction Admissions

Shanghai Bus Tour Hop-on Hop-off Premium Ticket including City Top Attraction Admissions

star-3.5
Experience all of Shanghai’s historical highlights and impressive landmarks on a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Sail past alluring attractions like the People’s Plaza, the Nanpu Bridge, The Bund and the Jade Buddha Temple on a distinctive double-decker bus, and disembark whenever you wish to explore further. Use your pass to discover three distinct routes, all of which visit must-see monuments sure to capture your attention.
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  • 2 days
From
US$29.50
From
US$29.50

Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

Private Full-Day Tour: Shanghai Old and New Highlights

star-5
Discover old and modern Shanghai as you wish on a full-day private tour. With a personal guide, explore attractions like The Bund, Ming-Dynasty Yu Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, and visit the observation deck of one of Shanghai’s highest skyscrapers. Customize your itinerary to suit you and opt to explore by private vehicle with lunch and select entrance fees included, or by private vehicle or public transit with lunch and entrance fees at own expense.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$121.50
Price varies by group size
From
US$121.50
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Late Night Food Tour in the Shanghai's French Concession

SPECIAL OFFER

Late Night Food Tour in the Shanghai's French Concession

star-5
Explore Shanghai's former French Concession long after dark, tasting several local foods along the way, on this culinary walking tour. Learn about the history and culture of the Xintiandi and Zhaozhou Road areas through your guide's commentary, and leave the tour with your culinary and historical appetites sated.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$75.00
US$93.75
US$18.75 savings
From
US$75.00
US$93.75
US$18.75 savings
Taking safety measures

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

Best of Shanghai Day Tour, including Jade Buddha Temple & Bund & Yuyuan Garden

star-4
Enhance your sightseeing experience of Shanghai on an enriching full-day excursion around the city. See all of the city’s spectacular sights with a knowledgeable guide as you tour a selection of historical highlights; absorb the sacred majesty of the Jade Buddha Temple; immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage at the Shanghai Museum; and stroll amid the botanical beauty of the Yuyuan Garden. Walk along the Bund and the former French Concession and enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$79.00
From
US$79.00
Taking safety measures

All Inclusive Amazing Shanghai City Highlights Private Day Tour

All Inclusive Amazing Shanghai City Highlights Private Day Tour

star-5
Hit all the highlights of Shanghai on this private full-day tour with a dedicated guide. Stops include Fuxing Park, the Shanghai Museum, a stroll down the Bund, a river cruise on the Huangpu, and a Shanghai-style lunch. Upgrade your tour with a Sichuan dinner accompanied by a face-changing show. Private pickup and drop-off at your Shanghai hotel included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$200.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$200.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day Tour: Incredible Shanghai Highlights

Private Full-Day Tour: Incredible Shanghai Highlights

star-5
Get to know Shanghai with your own guide on this full-day private tour. Admire bird’s-eye views from a Shanghai Tower, stroll along the Bund, and visit the Yuyuan Garden and bazaar. Plus, explore the Confucius Temple and Former French Concession area, and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Choose to travel by public transport (own expense) if you're in a group of four or fewer, or upgrade to get around by private vehicle.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$99.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$99.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Food Tour

Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Food Tour

star-5
Avoid the hassle of trying to find out where to grab a good meal while in Shanghai. This Shanghai food tour takes you off the beaten path as the sun starts to set so you can taste some of the most authentic regional dishes of the city. Pop into family-run eateries, and sample food, beer, and spirits well-liked by locals. Travel in a small group for a more intimate experience as you sample foods with a guide who also tells you about the city’s history and culture as you go.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$85.34
From
US$85.34
Taking safety measures

Shanghai Half Day Morning or Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

Shanghai Half Day Morning or Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

star-3.5
Enhance your experience of Shanghai regardless of time constrains on a morning or afternoon half-day sightseeing tour. See the best of Shanghai with a knowledgeable guide as you discover historical highlights like The Bund and the Jade Buddha Temple. Learn the complex process of pearl cultivation at the Fresh Water Pearl Gallery; absorb the antique charm of Shanghai Old Street; and delve into the city’s rich historical heritage at Shanghai Museum. Convenient round-trip transportation from your Shanghai hotel is included on this tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$53.00
From
US$53.00
Taking safety measures

Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town

Walking Through the Hidden Door of Shanghai Old Town

star-5
From ancient carvings located behind laundries to the 300-year-old Secluded Library (not open to the public), learn what lies behind the modern glamour of one of China’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities on this private walking tour of Old Shanghai. With just your group and private guide, head to a number of off-the-beaten-track attractions and quirky historical sites that create a fuller understanding of Shanghai’s history and contemporary culture alike.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$99.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$99.00
Price varies by group size

Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai

Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai

star-5
Satisfy your taste for traditional Chinese food during this culinary tour in Shanghai. Make your way down the famous Yunnan Road, stopping at several restaurants that are local favorites. Try typical Shanghainese dishes such as scallion oil noodles, steamed buns, parched chicken, and soup dumplings with black vinegar. Learn about the history and culture of the quickly changing city through your guide's informed commentary. All tastings are included and add up to more than enough for a full meal. Tours are available from morning to late-night to experience the best of Shanghai's culture.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$68.00
From
US$68.00
Taking safety measures

Shanghai Night River Cruise Tour with Xinjiang Style Dining Experience

Shanghai Night River Cruise Tour with Xinjiang Style Dining Experience

star-5
Get the most out of your Shanghai trip by experiencing the combination of a Huangpu River cruise and a Xinjiang food experience. Take the stress out of navigating the metro, and instead travel in a private, air-conditioned vehicle. See multiple famous Shanghai landmarks from your river cruise such as Oriental Pearl TV Tower and World Financial Center, and have a guide to translate the menu during your Xinjiang feast.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$138.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$138.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Evening Tour: VIP Huangpu River Cruise and Shanghai Lights

Private Evening Tour: VIP Huangpu River Cruise and Shanghai Lights

star-5
See the city of Shanghai light up at night on this private evening tour, which takes you to top attractions such as the French Concession and the Zig-Zag Bridge. Take in panoramic views of the city from the VIP deck of a cruise along the Huangpu River, and then choose to be dropped off back at your hotel or to continue your evening out on the town.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$128.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$128.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience and Acrobatics Show in Shanghai

Din Tai Fung Dinner Experience and Acrobatics Show in Shanghai

star-5
Ensure a memorable evening out in Shanghai on this 4-hour tour, including dinner at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Tuck into delicious soup dumplings, wontons, and other Chinese specialties at Din Tai Fung restaurant, then enjoy a spectacular 75-minute performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, including martial arts, circus tricks, acrobatics and magic acts. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$168.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$168.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

Huangpu River Cruise and Bund City Lights Evening Tour of Shanghai

star-4
Experience the incandescent beauty of The Bund, Shanghai’s cosmopolitan cultural district, on an evening tour of the waterfront. Accompanied by an expert guide, see the city’s most significant landmarks under the atmospheric cover of darkness; board an evening cruise boat to watch the city sparkle from the shimmering Huangpu River, then stroll the area to admire the historical Peace Hotel. Hop into a trolley to enjoy spectacular views of Nanjing Road and enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation from your Shanghai hotel.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$79.00
From
US$79.00
Taking safety measures

Private Walking Tour in the Former French Concession

Private Walking Tour in the Former French Concession

star-5
Stroll through the Shangai's trendy French Concession neighborhood with a private guide on this walking tour. Follow your guide's lead to unearth hidden courtyards, Art Deco buildings, and typical Shanghai street scenes. Highlights include the Lanxin Theater, the Cathay Mansion, the former residence of Dr. Sun-Yat Sen, Fuxing Park, and others. Choice of departure times to fit your schedule.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$95.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$95.00
Price varies by group size

Zhujiajiao Water Village Half Day Tour

Zhujiajiao Water Village Half Day Tour

star-4
Witness the winding waterways of Zhujiajiao, an ancient and alluring water village, on a 4-hour tour from Shanghai. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, see legendary landmarks like the five-arch bridge that spans the Cao Gang River and gain fascinating insight into the pivotal role Zhujiajiao played in China’s industrial surge. Learn the complex art of silk making during a demonstrative workshop; meander the quaint canals of the town on a boat; and visit two sacred temples during your enriching exploration from Shanghai.       
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$99.00
From
US$99.00
Taking safety measures

Shanghai Nightlife: Bars in The Bund and Old French Concession

Shanghai Nightlife: Bars in The Bund and Old French Concession

star-5
Calling all revellers, this 4-hour Shanghai evening tour showcases the city’s nightlife hotspots. In a small group limited to 10, you’ll visit ambient bars and a swanky club in the Old French Concession and The Bund (Waitan.) Enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or spirits in every bar and conclude your evening at M1NT, a nightclub famed for its shark tank and luxurious decor. Hotel pickup and drop-off, and entrance fees are included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$193.34
Price varies by group size
From
US$193.34
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour including Huangpu River Night Cruise

Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour including Huangpu River Night Cruise

star-3.5
Enjoy two of Shanghai’s must-do activities on a Zhujiajiao water town and Huangpu River cruise experience. Visit the ancient canal town of Zhujiajiao for a walking tour of the willow-lined waterways, lanes, and Ming- and Qing-era architecture. Afterward, learn about silk-making at a silk museum, and admire Shanghai’s illuminated skyline on a buffet dinner cruise on the Huangpu. Return coach transport, admission fees, cruise buffet, and central hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$232.54
Price varies by group size
From
US$232.54
Price varies by group size

Eat Like a Local: Street Breakfast Tour in Shanghai

Eat Like a Local: Street Breakfast Tour in Shanghai

star-5
Get a taste for Shanghai’s startlingly diverse food culture and its culinary specialties. A guide introduces Shanghai’s selection of pulled noodles, breakfast pancakes, and “xiaolongbao” (soup dumplings). Along the way, observe tai chi practitioners and water calligraphers in Xiangyang Park, and wander street stalls and a wet market, where you’ll see fresh Chinese dishes prepared before your eyes. This small-group food excursion, limited to eight guests, is also great for kids.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$80.00
From
US$80.00
Taking safety measures

Private One Way Or Round Way Transfer: Pudong International Airport

Private One Way Or Round Way Transfer: Pudong International Airport

star-5
Want a worry free and comfortable airport transfer service when you arrival Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) versus departure from your Shanghai Hotel to Pudong Airport? This 24/7 private transfer service by an English speaking driver will make you ground travel easy and seamless. You have an option to book one way or round way transfer for this service.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$82.67
per group
From
US$82.67
per group

Evening Shanghai: Huangpu River Cruise, Jin Mao Tower and The Bund

Evening Shanghai: Huangpu River Cruise, Jin Mao Tower and The Bund

star-4
Go sightseeing in Shanghai as the city lights up for the night on this 4-hour evening tour. Start with a Huangpu River cruise to view the illuminated colonial buildings along the Bund. Afterward, stroll along the wide promenade and admire the neon and floodlit buildings, enjoying great photo ops of the glowing skyline. Then go up to the observation deck in Jin Mao Tower for spectacular views over the city before winding down your tour with drop-off at your hotel.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$0.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$0.00
Price varies by group size


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